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Second, the nearest antecedent to Irenaeus’ statement “it was not seen long ago” is “the apocalypse”—not John.
Third, the Latin translation of Irenaeus also supports the traditional interpretation.
If Irenaeus is really so ambiguous, why didn’t the early church fathers think so?
Fifth, the first person to suggest a reinterpretation of Irenaeus was Johan Jakob Wettstein in 1752. Thus no one before this time—for 1,600 years—ever felt that Irenaeus’ testimony was ambiguous, until the system of Preterism was invented.
We date the book of Revelation some time during the end of the reign of Emperor Domitian (AD 95).
There is both internal and external evidence for the dating of the book of Revelation: External evidence is the attestation for the date of Revelation that exists outside of the book.
Other Preterists argue that Irenaeus erred when he made his assertion about the dating of the book of Revelation.
Preterists point out that Irenaeus erred before in his writing, when he claimed that Jesus was forty years old when he died.
Either view would still make Revelation future for the futurist.
If Irenaeus could be wrong about so significant a fact, couldn’t he also be wrong about the date of Revelation?
However, a number of counterarguments have been argued: First, this statement from Irenaeus was not a historical blunder; instead, it was a misinterpretation of Scripture.
In his work Roman History, Dio Cassius confirms the fact that Domitian was in the practice of banishing prisoners to islands.
Hitchcock writes, “While Dio does not specifically mention John’s banishment during the reign of Domitian he does refer three times to Domitian’s practice of banishment.
Fourth, none of the early Christian church fathers believed that Irenaeus’ statement was ambiguous.